The Wellesley Institute works to connect communities through innovation and enterprise. We recognize that strong, healthy and equitable communities require the active engagement of the business sector, as well as community organizations and the government. Our innovation and enterprise work includes:
- Work with private sector partners aimed at developing and supporting innovative and responsible business practices that transform communities; and,
- Collaborations with community sector partners that aim at developing more business-like and enterprising models of service delivery to achieve greater social impact.
The Wellesley Institute is honoured to be an operational partner with Prince’s Charities Canada in launching Prince’s Seeing is Believing across Canada. Prince’s Seeing is Believing is a unique platform for engaging senior business leaders directly with high-performing community organizations in critical issues where business can make a difference. Prince’s Seeing is Believing was developed by HRH The Prince of Wales more than two decades ago and continues as a major initiative of Business in the Community, a business-led charity that focuses on promoting socially responsible business practices.
Background on the Wellesley Institute’s innovation and enterprise practice can be found here.
Some of our specific projects have included:
- Collaboration with the Toronto Board of Trade, the largest local private sector business organization in Canada with more than 10,000 business members, on a variety of initiatives including the Prosperity Report Card, housing and homelessness, transportation and urban planning initiatives that link strong employment with key elements of the physical infrastructure.
- Collaboration with the Toronto Civic Action, a large and dynamic coalition of senior business and community leaders, on a variety of initiatives including housing, transportation, income and labour markets and regional urban planning initiatives.
- Partnership with Harvard Club of Toronto, and others, to assist business professionals and organizations to move from philanthropy and volunteerism to social engagement.
- Research and policy work on innovation in the private sector, part of our ongoing Collaboration initiative, which aims to enhance partnerships to strengthen communities.
- Active participation the Social Finance Canada collaboration, which aims to enhance the use of innovative private sector financing (such as social impact bonds) to finance key social solutions.
- Active participation in the development of social procurement (purchasing strategies to achieve social ends); and social hiring (employment strategies aimed at people excluded from traditional labour markets) aimed at both the private and government sectors.
- Research and policy work aimed at strengthening the non-profit sector, starting with We Can’t Afford to Do Business this Way.
- Founding partner of Enterprising Non-Profits Toronto, which provides business support and start-up funding for innovative social enterprise businesses.